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Avenues to Self-Sufficiency: The Accessibility and Stability of Faith-based and Community-based Service Organizations in Urban and Rural America.

April 2008

Scott Allard.

Download 'working_paper08-06.pdf'.


Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith‐based and community‐based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith‐based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year.

Rural Poverty, Social Welfare Programs and Policies, Urban Poverty